Posted by: tflana | July 17, 2018

A Foggy Day Off Island

     The fog horn had been going off all night, a sound every 30 seconds and when I finally gave up sleeping, it was pea soup fog outside. This would not be an issue usually, but we decided today was going to be our day off island for chores and a bike ride. Tuesday is predicted to be very unsettled weather and Wednesday, we have a possibility of a sail out on Salem Sound. Today’s original plan was to leave the island at 7am to get a full day in, however, The Weather Channel advisory was for a dense fog until 9am. This was a good morning to get some foggy pictures and have a second cup of coffee.


By 8am, it looked a little better and we decided to go slow and follow our track on the chart plotter we have been using since the day we arrived. The key is to make sure the other vessels out there see us as well. Radio Waves has running lights, like a cars headlight, which we turned on for one more safety feature. When we made it to the boat and Brian was dropping the mooring pennant, we could just make out the beach which was less than 100 feet from us! Normally the trip to Salem Willows takes about 20 minutes, today it was close to an hour.


The first order of business today was to get breakfast at a diner, today I had picked out the Peabody Diner along our way to the highway. As we were enjoying our breakfast, we hear someone say Hi Tara & Brian. Really, we know a handful of people in this area and most of them are from the Essex Heritage office, it turns out it is Bill from the volunteer group who comes out to the island on Wednesdays. He meets his friends on Mondays here for breakfast, and a chance to talk cars. Bill had arrived at the diner in his 1957 Chevy Station wagon, a good-looking car. Reminds me of a lot of MomMobiles from when I was growing up, pre-minvan era!

57 Chevy Stationwagon

1957 Chev Station wagon, owned by one of the island volunteers

Once we were on the road again, the plan was to drive into Bedford, MA and ride the Minuteman Bikeway into the Arlington/Belmont area. It was about a 20-mile ride which both of us needed, we miss biking when we are on the island. This trail is considered a Rail Trail Hall of Fame site, it is one of the oldest and most used trails along an old railroad track, it is used as a commuter rail for bikes into Boston. This is something that is near and dear to Brian, he biked back and forth to work for over 20 years, a 13 mile ride each way along busy roads in Connecticut. He never could understand why more congested traffic communities don’t invest in bike trails like this one to ease the highway congestion and pollution. The best part was when we arrived at the Alewife T station to find a parking garage for bikes and there were 100’s of bikes locked up in the building, makes me almost want to go back to work near Boston just so I can commute on my bike.



We did a loop around Fresh Pond and back along the rail trail to Bedford. All in all, we biked about 26 miles over 2 hours. The overcast skies kept it from being a scorcher of a day, and it was now time to get back to the chore portion of our day, yuck. Unfortunately, the plans changed when Brian went to put the bikes on the roof and noticed one of our van tires had a nick in the tread. This is when I come in and do what I do best, manage. I found a tire place less than a mile away from the Bedford Depot Parking Area, they could take our van immediately for new tires and, the best part, it was across the street from Bedford Farms Ice Cream, so lunch for me was now covered.

Ice Cream

Major Ice Cream fix, I could only get a 2 flavor combination if I ordered a large, so that is what I did.

This was becoming a long day off island, off to groceries and laundry then back to the island. As we were driving towards Salem Willows, we realized it was foggier here than it was in the morning. This will teach us to watch the weather all day long. Again, we are always safe when making decisions and we knew if we went slow and followed the course, we should be fine. The visibility was about 100 feet while crossing Salem Sound. We saw one other small boat out fishing but did hear a lot of chatter on the VHF radio from captain’s announcing their locations as well as a report of a vessel aground at Pleasant Cove, not sure where this is. We did fine on getting back to the island, just wet from the fog and tired after a long day of playing. Both of us have decided the only way our day could have gotten better is if a valet met us at the beach to pull the cart back to the house for us.


Returning home trying to find the dinghy and the beach

Returning to Baker’s Island in the evening, trying to find where the dinghy and mooring are. You can just barely see it and the beach outline

The fog horn was still going off until just after sunset when we could start seeing Great Misery out the window. And finally, there was quiet again on the island.


Low tide: 8:23am
High tide: 2:43pm
Sunrise: 5:20am
Sunset: 8:18pm
Man hours worked: 0
Total man hours worked: 428

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